The next area I want to talk about in relation to yokes is the role in our prayer lives. To do that I want to look at a scripture and share an experience I had in September of 1990. I was at the Vineyard Holiness conference at the Agricom in Edmonton. There were about 4,000 people there and while waiting for the evening session I was in the lobby area speaking with someone I knew and waiting for my wife. A lady approached us and said to me, “Excuse me, I don’t know if you noticed but I have been staring at you all day. Every time I look at you I see you with a Jewish skullcap, a long white beard and a big empty book in front of you. The Lord said to tell you he is going to fill the book and to give you Leviticus chapter 8.” The cap she referred to was a yarmulke, the small round Jewish cap.
Being deeply aware and spiritually astute I obviously asked the lady a bit about herself and immediately read Leviticus chapter 8. Actually no, I never knew her name and would not have recognized her if I saw her on the street the next day. The important piece was the message rather than the messenger. Something we would do well to remember as His servants. I did not read Leviticus 8 until I went home later that night and even then didn’t get much out of it. I have no question the word was from the Holy Spirit and my understanding of the application has continued to grow over the past 26 years. I deeply appreciate that this lady listened to the Holy Spirit and took a risk and shared with me and I would now appreciate the opportunity to speak with her about what she shared. I still don’t have a long white beard and suspect I never will. However that part of the message was about an image representing age, maturity and wisdom.
So what is important about Leviticus 8? Many things, but for our purposes 8:8.
8 Then he put the breastplate on him, and he put the Urim and the Thummim in the breastplate. Leviticus 8:8 (NKJV)
This doesn’t tell us much, it requires having scripture interpret scripture. Exodus 28:15-21 does that for us. I will share the first and last verse of the passage.
15 “You shall make the breastplate of judgment. Artistically woven according to the workmanship of the ephod you shall make it: of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, you shall make it. Exodus 28:15 (NKJV)
21 And the stones shall have the names of the sons of Israel, twelve according to their names, like the engravings of a signet, each one with its own name; they shall be according to the twelve tribes. Exodus 28:21 (NKJV)
Putting these verse together we know from Leviticus 8:8 that the Urim and the Thummim were in the breastplate, that it is a breastplate of judgment. This was judgment in the sense of governing or deciding. We also know the breastplate had twelve stones on it, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel.
I have long believed that the Urim and the Thummim correspond to the wisdom and revelation of Ephesians 1:17. We need spiritual wisdom and revelation to judge wisely. When the high priest entered Yahweh’s presence he carried the nation over his heart in an act of intercession, as represented by the 12 different stones. In a similar manner we are called to carry certain individuals, groups or other things over our hearts into His presence when we intercede. We are likely all familiar with the concept of the Lord ‘laying something on our heart.’ This is how we apply it. Standing in the place of intercession for others is a yoke He offers to all. Not many accept this yoke. Taking it doesn’t mean we need to become a fulltime intercessor. It does mean we commit to respond when He touches one of the stones upon our heart.
Do you know what stones He has asked you to carry? Are you responding when He touches one? Ask Him to reveal what He desires you to carry and to be sensitive to His touch upon them.